Guest Posts

I have been go go go lately, which hasn’t left much kitchen time. The same breakfast smoothie and lunch sandwich aren’t really interesting talk around here. Well, I did find a smoothie shop in our new neighborhood, so I may actually tell you about that soon.

My kitchen is about half unpacked, so I am able to partly function in there, and it is my main focus to get organized first. I am looking forward to cooking again.

The best thing we have eaten recently, when I finally did get in the kitchen? Individual six layer dips.

We ate these three times last week – as a dip for lunch, over crunchy lettuce as a salad, in a quinoa bowl topped with crushed tortilla chips. These flavors are so good, and don’t get old.

Using the fire roasted green chiles I brought back from Santa Fe last spring, this layered lunch has a southwest spin. The sweet corn mixes perfectly with the sweet-spicy noocho cheese, while the crisp lettuce and avocado provide a cool and creamy finish.

All together? A perfect warm weather lunch that is both light and filling.

Now I want to visit Santa Fe again…

I’m posting at Fork You! No, Fork You! while Christina is off getting married – see the recipe here – southwest six layer dip.

eta: two things – sorry about the formatting. Also, I am guessing Christina is offline for a bit, so all comments are going into moderation. Thanks for reading!

 

 

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I am always honored when asked to write a guest post on another website. When Cara asked me, I was beside myself giddy, as she has not only become a good friend, I look up to her as an extremely talented and creative blogger. We met while participating in last year’s Vegan MoFo, and our friendship has grown over long emails and chats, our mutual love of cooking, and Wheel of Fortune.

One of my many favorite aspects of Cara’s website is her “People You Should Know” series. On Fridays, she features her favorites from around the web, and I am happy to be among them. A favorite aspect because the talents are varied and vast – and the people are all just like Cara – quality personalities who are lots of fun.

I created a recipe especially for Cara, and I used fresh juice…

I know, I know, I keep meaning to talk about my new juicer. Soon, I promise. It’s not even new anymore. I love it so.

Cara loves her waffles, so creating a new waffle recipe was what I kept coming back to. I make a recipe several times before posting it, so we were enjoying waffles many ways for a while – sweet, savory, as a sandwich… all of them good!

 

Please go visit my dear friend Cara, and see what I made for her.

Happy Friday everyone!

 

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Ashley from The Unintentional Vegan has some of the best round up posts, which she calls Crowdsource Recipe Testing. She posts fabulous recipes from around the web.

Remember the amazing caramelized onion bacon dip I raved about a while back? I discovered that through a Crowdsource post.

Ashley recently asked me to participate in Crowdsource by making and reviewing a recipe. Of the many delectable offerings, I chose black bean and plantain fritters.

Read my review and see the original recipe here – black bean and plantain fritters. Thank you Ashley for having me!

See all of Ashley’s Crowdsource posts here – Crowdsource Recipe Testing - so many great recipes

 

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There was a time I did not like spicy foods. Actually, I think I just never gave them a chance, and certainly never cooked anything spicy or with any amount of heat. My dad loves spicy foods. My brother loves spicy foods. Jason loves spicy foods.

Little by little, I have come around and now I love spicy foods. I will always stand by my original thought, though – that it must be a flavorful heat, not just so hot that I am crying and cannot taste anything. I have been having fun learning about peppers and spices, and their varying heat levels.

When Julie asked me to create something for Mighty Vegan’s Mardi Gras, I was honored and excited, and I knew exactly what I would be making – jambalaya!

Julie is celebrating her home town of New Orleans by hosting a series of Mardi Gras food and recipe posts on Mighty Vegan.

My jambalaya recipe is featured today – check that out here.

She has already posted a po-boy recipe as well, which sounds amazing. I am honored to be a part of the series, and look forward to seeing other New Orleans traditions – stop by Mighty Vegan and say hello!

Fat Tuesday is two weeks from today – will you be celebrating Mardi Gras?

Are you a spicy food fan?

 

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Yep. These are all over the place, and I had to make one too.

This is very different from my pumpkin smoothie, which I could easily have with breakfast. This one includes ice cream, making it a dessert. At least eat breakfast first.

spicy ice cream shake

vegan, gluten free, dairy free

serves two

2 scoops pumpkin ice cream*
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup coconut milk (carton)
2 tablespoons chai tea powder (Natures Flavors)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

In blender, combine ice cream, pumpkin puree, coconut milk – blend until smooth. Add chai, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice, pulse blender to combine. Pour into glasses and garnish with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon. 

*For a smoothie rather than a dessert, replace the ice cream with two scoops of vanilla protein powder and another cup of coconut milk.

Mmm. I wait to make that ice cream all year long. I really don’t like to see anything holiday related before Thanksgiving, except for that nog.

The other fun thing going on today – I am once again guest posting over at XGFX! Go check it out – there is another fun thing about these pepper jacks I shared over there…someone famous (and fun!) tweeted about them! :D

 

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Seven Layer Taco

Google Reader users were treated to a sneak preview of this over the weekend. After spending two full days at the hospital (Dad is recovering expeditiously!), I was too exhausted to sleep late Saturday evening, but exhausted enough to hit publish instead of draft save. Oops.

A teaser that also lets you know I do sometimes follow a meal plan, and we were looking forward to Taco Tuesday. Also? National Taco Day. We had to plan for and celebrate that.

We celebrated Taco Tuesday with my favorite seven layer dip, made into tacos!

Seven Layer Tacos

 

I still have quite the obsession with my noocho cheese sauce. I can’t get over the perfect blend of flavors. Buttery sweet, cheesy and spicy hot, it is truly the star of the seven layers, and stands well on its own, happily traveling on vehicles of chips and veggies.

I started out building these tacos in layers. After a couple, however, I would begin with the noocho cheese, spreading it all over the interior of the taco shell, followed by the remaining six flavor layers. Exceptional!

seven layer tacos

vegan, gluten free, dairy free

base layer – jalapeno beans
salsa spiced quinoa
Noocho Cheese Sauce
chopped lettuce and scallions
chopped tomatoes
sliced avocado
jalapeno soaked olives

Base layer – canned pinto beans (drained) and chopped jalapeno: I used 2 cans beans and 2 seeded jalapenos, processed in food processor to a blend of chunky/creamy.

Second layer – salsa spiced quinoa – quinoa cooked with dried and powdered “salsa flavors” added to the water: I used 1 cup quinoa to 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth, I added 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 2 teaspoons chili flakes, 1 teaspoon chili powder, bring to boil then simmer 25 minutes.

Third layer – Noocho Cheese Sauce.

Fourth through seventh layers – layer the lettuce and scallions, then tomato, then avocado, then olives. 

 

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